True Roots #1
Those of you that have taken the time and made an effort to investigate, read and observe the content on this web site already know that before I started making Crafted to Last, I worked as a research biochemist for almost 20 years. My main interests were trying to understand how biological systems regulate fuel metabolism in response to changing environmental conditions. Because I began that journey in the early 1980’s the focus was on proteins and enzymes rather than the genetic emphasis that dominates such discussions today. Instead of a long and interesting digression, let me just say it plain: enzymes are amazing molecules that make chemical reactions go a lot faster and provide a means to regulate those reactions. They introduce mechanisms of order into the chaos of random spontaneous chemical reactions.
One of the more intriguing enzyme mechanisms I’ve come across is bioswitching and signal amplification. This relates to regulation of human fuel metabolism because when you eat something after not eating for more than 6 hrs or so, within 5-10 minutes of swallowing the first bite the flow of biological fuels, specifically carbohydrate, fat and protein, are redirected almost simultaneously. One sad fact of medical research is that the funding agencies tend to favor highly reductionist inquiries and this forces people to consider their chosen target of investigation in isolation from other influences. Not in all cases, but in enough that concepts like “whole body regulation” or “systems biology” were a hard to sell. Especially when funding rates for basic research were plummeting to all time lows. Everything I was finding in my research and the studies of my peers was pointing toward initiating projects aimed at unifying the detailed results of reductionist programs into a more wholistic and systemic perspective. Moreover, the computing and data storage advances were making it feasible to start addressing these questions in a statistically relevant way and that is the foundation of the scientific method. This is still happening even though I am not a major part of it any more from the strict defined confines of a the academic research community.
Bottom line: The Campaign for Music was designed as a cultural switch. A little input from each of you will be amplified into a benefit for everyone and for local musicians in particular. Push the button. Flip the switch.